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Published on May 20, 2024
Spurs Rookie Sidy Cissoko Opens Up About Battling Depression During NBA SeasonSource: Wikipedia/San Antonio Spurs

The grind and glitz of NBA life haven't been all smooth sailing for San Antonio Spurs' rookie, Sidy Cissoko. The young guard openly revealed his struggles with depression during the past season, largely stemming from injury-induced downtime and the adjustment to a quieter city life, as per a statement obtained by KENS 5. Though contributing a solid average of 15.5 points per game in the G League, Cissoko found the off-court silence deafening, revealing, "The last few months, when I was injured, I fell a bit into depression." The transition from the Vegas lights to Austin's calm was a jarring change for a young player used to the constant buzz of activity.

While his professional basketball journey began with much promise, Cissoko admitted to have to had to find equilibrium between life and the game. In an interview with KENS 5, he detailed how nonchalance towards his growing video game habit led to lost opportunities for personal and professional growth. He eventually turned to music for relief, finding solace and a new hobby in piano.

Despite his personal challenges, Cissoko's athletic and defensive capabilities were highlighted during the season. With his time split between the G League and a few stints in NBA games, the rookie showcased potential with notable steals and powerful dunks, Sports Illustrated reported. But it wasn't all smooth dribbling on the court; Cissoko's struggles with his shot, particularly from beyond the arc, could not go unnoticed. The young guard shot just 24.5 percent from three-point range in the G League and a more paltry 8.3 percent in the NBA. Free-throw efficiency was also a concern, with a completion rate hovering around 63.6 percent.

Coach Gregg Popovich, however, remains optimistic, signaling the player's need to further develop his craft. "I think he’s got a lot of potential," Popovich said of Cissoko, according to Sports Illustrated. The Spurs brass continue to back Cissoko, giving him substantial minutes "to get as many minutes as possible" and nurturing his budding career. Despite the growth areas, San Antonio sees a bright spark in Cissoko, one they're willing to patiently fan into a flame.

With the season wrapped, Cissoko's overall impact has been clear yet mixed, with year-end analyses giving him a Season Grade of C.